U of G College Royal celebrates 100 years

GUELPH – The University of Guelph (U of G) is celebrating its 100th College Royal event this weekend.

The event, the largest university open house of its kind in North America, will take place March 16 and 17.

It officially kicked off on March 6 for the start of a 12-day celebration, with several events running throughout the past week.

“So far, every event has been an incredible success,” said College Royal president Lexi Johnston.

“We have had a tremendous amount of support in all the events so far, and really good participation and attendance.”

College Royal is a student-led event that began in 1925 as a livestock show – and it  still focusses largely on agriculture.

However, U of G now showcases all that the university has to offer to students, faculty and community members.

Events this year

Some events to look forward to this weekend include a square dance, bubble soccer, beef and dairy show, horse and sheep show, junior tractor rodeo, “old Macdonald’s new farm” and a pancake flip competition.

This year, 68 clubs will provide a display to show the community what they are all about.

“Anywhere from marine biology to engineering to food science, figure skating… there’s lots and lots of clubs involved,” said Johnston.

Marking a century

To celebrate a century, the College Royal open house will begin with some opening remarks on Saturday morning from U of G president Dr. Charlotte Yates, Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie and Ontario Minister of Agriculture Lisa Thompson.

The College Royal team will also unveil a new painted mural in the University Centre.

Artist Shelby Bohn is a postdoctoral researcher and local artist who graduated with a PhD from the College of Biological Science. She will start the painting during open house weekend, revealing the design on an easel during the opening ceremony at 10am.

A history book will also be available to purchase, detailing how College Royal started and its ongoing legacy.

The College Royal team spent the past eight months putting together the book.

The bullring, a historical building for College Royal and the campus, is where the first livestock show happened.

“It’s now a café, but we’re turning it into a history museum for the weekend to showcase memories and photos and artifacts of the last 100 years,” Johnston explained.

“There’s some alumni engagements too, such as some giveaways with quilts and swag as well.”

For more information and to a full list of College Royal events, visit collegeroyalsociety.com.